WINNIPEG, Man. - The Montreal Canadiens scored twice in the first period and held on to beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 on Tuesday night, taking three of four games on a road trip through western Canada.
Left winger Brandon Prust and blueliner P.K. Subban each scored his second goal of the season, while Daniel Briere scored into an empty net with just over a minute left in the game, as the Canadiens raised their record to 4-2.
Montreal goalie Carey Price stopped 35 shots for his first shutout of the season. Montreal heads home for five games, beginning with a battle against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Winnipeg fell to 3-4 and is now 1-2 on a current six-game homestand. The club hosts the red-hot St. Louis Blues on Friday night.
The Canadiens dominated play at the outset, hemming the Jets in their own end for a two full minutes until Prust tucked in a rebound off the back wall past goalie Ondrej Pavelec to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at 2:06.
The Jets didn't register their first shot until about seven minutes in, a harmless blast from outside the Montreal zone by blueliner Zach Bogosion, prompting a derisive cheer from the frustrated crowd.
Things went from bad to worse for Winnipeg at 11:28 when Subban's rocket from the point beat Pavelec cleanly for a 2-0 Montreal advantage.
Canadiens' left winger Max Pacioretty went down with what appeared to be a knee injury late in the first period and did not return.
The Jets tightened up defensively in the middle period and pushed the puck deep a number of times. But they threw only a few minor scares into Price, shooting from well out and creating very little traffic in front.
Right winger Michael Frolik, obtained from the Chicago Blackhawks during the offseason, had Winnipeg's best chance with a nifty deke that Price blocked with his pad with time winding down in the second period.
The Jets pressed to hit the score sheet in the final period, outshooting the Canadiens 14-6, but were stymied repeatedly by Price.
The empty-netter was Briere's first goal and third point of the season after signing with Montreal as a free agent in July.
Pavelec made 21 saves for Winnipeg.
NOTES: Canadiens RW Brian Gionta missed Saturday's 4-1 victory over the host Vancouver Canucks when he returned to Montreal after his son suddenly fell ill. However, with the youngster on the mend, Gionta rejoined the team in Winnipeg on Monday and played his 700th career game Tuesday night. ... The Jets are in the midst of their longest homestand of the season, lasting six games at MTS Centre from Oct. 11-22. ... Rookie D Jacob Trouba, 19, began the night second on the team in average ice time this season at 23:27, behind only D Dustin Byfuglien, who was averaging 24:28. ... The Canadiens head home for five straight games at the Bell Centre, beginning with a visit from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. ... Montreal entered Tuesday's game with five consecutive wins against the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise, and eight victories of the past nine meetings. The Habs dominated the original Winnipeg franchise from 1979-96 before the Jets moved to Phoenix, registering a 31-10-5 record.
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